One of the grand trees of the Northwest, the Western Larch, is now showing its fall colors. I cannot help but celebrate.
Here are some photos taken in the past few days. The first eight were taken at Weeksville Creek just off the Clark Fork of the Columbia (elevation about 2450 feet) on November second, the next four at Mc Cully Ridge in the Fishtrap Creek drainage (elevation about 3300 feet) on October 31, and the last six today as I hiked up the Baldy Mountain trail (elevation, 6000 to 6500 feet). It was a little cold and snowy on the trail.
They are just starting to lose their needles now. On the way down from the trail head today it was raining golden needles and in places the road was solid gold. And of course there were those needles that found their way down the back of my shirt!
I love the last shots particularly – it’s magical what a sprinkling of snow can do! Your larches seem to grow much thinner and taller than ours, but the ones here are European larch. I love it when they start turning – it often transforms a whole woodland.
Wow what a lovely tree in the landscape, and it’s so easy to assess the density of the trees (if you wanted to) in a big landscape at that time of year – my ecological monitoring brain at work there I’m afraid. Wonderful :)
I like the last image too and scenes like that keep drawing be back to the peaks. I have been on the tops of most of those in the distance too. Once you have been up there you just have to keep going back.
I’m glad that you enjoy the scenes, Elizabeth! Hiking through that kind of country is what I love most and I’m very pleased to know that others enjoy seeing it too. I wish you could have felt the bite of the wind and the feel of the snow, just for a few moments.
Beautiful. We noticed the larches on our way home last week. They add a dash of colour between the evergreens just as deciduous trees do this time of year. They look impressive set off by the dark green of the rest of the forest. Love the snow pictures!
The Larch seem to have a pretty successful survival strategy too. Once they get very big, they are nearly impervious to the fires, and I don’t believe they have very many disease problems either. It’s also comforting to see them the same every fall and watch them celebrate spring with their bright new needles.
We haven’t had snow on the roads in this area, but Lookout Pass has and there have been slick roads in the Missoula area. I was on a high road today in the forest and it was very icy and slick. Your timing was very good!
Usually I can find a photograph or two – or six – that really stand out to me, but this group as a whole is special. The larch are such beautiful trees, and I love the way they combine with the deep greens around them. It reminds me of conifers and aspens in Utah. I did laugh at the needles down your shirt. I’ll be telling the tale of another sort of natural needle that rained down (and up and all around) on me during my trip. Experience is such a good teacher!
The Larch are shedding their needles very rapidly now. There will be periods of white on gold and gold on white. I do love to walk on the golden needles when they cover a trail. The Larch are in color only briefly, but the brevity serves to heighten the anticipation for the following fall.
I’ve only experienced the Larch here, visiting your blog, Terry. You’ve mentioned that they have needles…so they’re like pines? Conifers, but not evergreen? They sure are pretty trees and add remarkable color to your landscapes.